Oct. 10, 2012
The University of Michigan men's soccer team (4-5-1, 1-1-1 Big Ten) will hit the road for an extended road trip beginning on Saturday (Oct. 13) against the Wisconsin Badgers (3-5-3, 0-2-0 Big Ten) at the McClimon Track/Soccer Complex in Madison. U-M then follows that trip up with a tilt at No. 3 Akron (7-1-2) on Tuesday (Oct. 16) at FirstEnergy Stadium in Akron, Ohio.
The Wolverines are 0-3 on the road this season and are looking for the first road triumph in the Chaka Daley era. U-M heads on the road swing after an undefeated homestand, during which the squad was 2-0-1, with wins over Ohio State and Oakland as well as a draw against Penn State.
Last season against the Badgers, the Wolverines chalked up a 0-2 record in a pair of home contests. The first defeat came in the regular season by a 2-1 count on Oct. 9. The Wolverines found themselves down 2-0 at the half but cut the lead in half in the 61st minute on a header goal by Kofi Opare on a Fabio Pereira corner. The Wolverines were unable to find the equalizer in the matchup. U-M also squared off against the Badgers in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament on Nov. 9, falling by a 2-0 count to end their season.
Overall, Michigan is 10-4-3 all-time against the Badgers, with the last win coming by a 1-0 count against the squad on Nov. 12 in round two of the 2010 Big Ten Tournament.
Michigan picked up its signature win of the season against the Zips last year on Oct. 18 in Ann Arbor, as a Latif Alashe score in the 97th minute gave U-M the upset home victory over the No. 4 squad in the nation.
The Maize and Blue is 4-7 all-time against the Zips. During U-M's College Cup run in 2010, Michigan suffered two of its fives defeats to Akron, falling in the regular season to the then No. 1 squad in the nation, 7-1, in Akron. The Wolverines battled close with the eventual national champion in the second matchup of the season at the College Cup, falling to the Zips, 2-1, in the semifinals.
• Senior tri-captain Latif Alashe stretched his consecutive match started streak to 73 and has never missed a start in his U-M career. He now sits tied with Michal Holody (2005-08) in fourth place in program history with 73 career starts, nine matches from passing program leader Ryan Sterba (81).
• Against Penn State, goalkeeper Adam Grinwis made a career-high 12 saves in a 1-1 draw on Saturday (Oct. 6). For his efforts, he was named the Big Ten Defensive player of the Week for the first in his career. The 12 saves are the highest mark in the Big Ten this season. The last Wolverine to win the honor was Chris Blais in 2009.
• After struggling to score goals and ranking near the bottom of the Big Ten in goals a year ago, the Wolverines are averaging 1.44 scores per match, which ranks third in the conference thus far.
• The win against Oakland snapped a five-match winning streak for the Grizzlies with which the squad outscored opponents by a 19-2 margin.
• Fabio Pereira leads the team in points with eight this season. Pereira had four points (one goal, two assists) against Northeastern and three points (goal, assist) against Ohio State while chipping in an assist in the 1-1 draw against Penn State on Oct. 6.
• Michigan has outscored teams 9-3 in the first half this season but has been outscored by a 10-4 margin in the second stanza. Overall, Michigan is even with opponents on total goals this year at 14-14.
• The Wolverines have played four ranked opponents this season. Michigan has squared off against opponents that hold an overall record of 72-31-15.
• Ten players have scored at least one goal for the Wolverines this season at just past the halfway mark. Last season, a total of 11 players scored for the Wolverines. No player has scored more than twice this year.
• Junior Fabio Pereira converted his first penalty kick of the season against Northeastern in the 27th minute, marking the second successful try in his career. In his three seasons in Ann Arbor, Pereira is 2-for-3 on penalty attempts, with his first successful attempt coming against Kentucky last season in a 2-1 defeat.
• Michigan is 1-1-1 in overtime matches this season. All three matches have gone into double OT.
• Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Adam Grinwis was named the Professional Development League Goalkeeper of the Year as well as Rookie of the Year on Aug. 6. He also earned a spot on the all-league and all-central conference teams for his summer club squad, the Michigan Bucks.
• This season's kits feature new wrinkles, most notably on the back and arm of the jersey. Just under the back collar of the jersey is a stitched in 'Hail to the Victors,' while block 'M's are located in the bottom of each digit on each player's back. Additionally, the right arm features a stitched-on patch of a Big Ten logo.
• Two former Wolverines have seen action in Major League Soccer matches this season in Justin Meram (2009-10) and Soony Saad (2010), both of whom starred on the 2010 squad's magical run to the College Cup. Meram, who plays for the Columbus Crew, has played in 20 matches, with 11 starts, and has tallied a trio of scores on the season. Additionally, he has chipped in one assist and has 23 shots. Saad has seen action in nine matches this season, with a pair of starts, and has fired seven shots, with two on goal.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
| TJ VanSlooten
Grand Rapids, Mich.
Q: How will playing the tough schedule thus far benefit the team as the season goes on?
A: I think the tough schedule has really helped us grow as a team so far and find our identity. It's really fueled our desire to win games and prove ourselves in the Big Ten and national landscape.
Q: You've seen more of an increased role in the central midfield this season. Is this due more to Coach Daley's system, or hard work on your part?
A: I would say it has been a bit of both. I've worked hard and fortunately have been getting some more time and feeling more comfortable out on the field.
Q: What are you looking forward to the most the rest of the season? What has been your favorite moment of the season thus far?
A: I'm looking forward to winning more games. I would say my favorite moment thus far was beating Ohio State. We worked so hard for that win and I was so happy it paid off.
Q: As one of the top scholars on the squad, how difficult is it to balance school and being a D-I athlete?
A: It's an extremely difficult thing trying to balance school and soccer. Sometimes we miss classes because we're on the road and have to play catch up. It can really take a toll on the mind and body when you have to stay up late studying some nights.
Q: What is the best part about being a Michigan Wolverine?
A: There isn't a bad thing about being a Michigan Wolverine. I would say the very best part about being a Wolverine is putting on that white, maize, and blue jersey every weekend and representing one of the best universities in the world.
LAST TIME OUT
The Wolverines used the first goal of redshirt freshman Colin McAtee's career in the 14th minute, as well as the second clean sheet of the season from redshirt sophomore Adam Grinwis to extend the squad's unbeaten streak to three matches Tuesday (Oct. 9) with a 1-0 win over the Oakland Grizzlies at U-M Soccer Stadium.
The Wolverines tallied the lone goal of the matchup in the early going, as McAtee and junior T.J. Roehn connected for the second straight match. Roehn possessed the ball in near the touchline on the right flank and sent a low cross inside the six at the 14-minute mark. The ensuing service was sent home by McAtee on a 1-2 pass, beating Oakland keeper Scott Messer lower left for the lone goal of the matchup.
Friday, Oct. 19 -- at Indiana (Bloomington, Ind.), 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 23 -- vs. Bowling Green (U-M Soccer Stadium), 7 p.m.